Video

The Panasonic GH4 V-Log L. Graded and Ungraded Samples.

A few tests comparing the Panasonic GH4’s default camera profiles with the brand new V-Log L.
The (very quick) grading was done on Premiere Pro CC 2015 and the super awesome Lumetri Color Engine.

Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__004_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__005_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__007_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__006_850Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__012_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__011_850Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__009_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__010_850
Why is V-Log important? Why should we care about camera profiles and external recorders? Read this and watch this to learn more.

Installing V-Log L on your GH4 is far from intuitive and user friendly, but we’ve got you covered. A complete step-by-step tutorial is available for free right here.

The GH4 firmware update (version 2.3) including V-Log L will cost $100, and it will be available in 2 weeks. You can pre-order it now right here.

Related Posts


Video

The Panasonic GH4 V-Log L is out! Step-by-step installation tutorial.

While the first steps to update the firmware to version 2.3 (which now FINALLY includes V-Log L) are the same as before, there are many new ones. I just installed the firmware myself and found the original instructions too confusing, so I rewrote the steps, captured screen shots and the camera’s menus hoping to save you some valuable time. I’m not a Panasonic employee, and I’m not being paid by anyone to write this post. If you have further questions or issues please contact Panasonic Tech Support directly. The link to purchase the firmware is here.

To watch a comparison  between the default GH4 profiles and the V-Log L watch this video.

Ready? Let’s go!

Step A – Updating the camera’s Firmware. 

  1. Prepare a fully charged battery and a blank SD card.
  2. Download the firmware version 2.3
  3. Extract the zip file and copy the firmware (xxx.bin) to the SD card.
  4. Insert the SD card into a camera.
  5. Set the camera to P mode.
  6. Turn the camera ON
  7. Press and hold the playback button
  8. Select “YES” on the screen.
  9. The firmware update process only takes about 4 minutes.

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Turn the camera OFF and ON again, and check the firmware version

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At this point, pretty much everything else is new.

Step B – Exporting the camera’s information

1. Insert (ideally another) formatted memory card into de camera

2. Select the menu:

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PanasonicGH4_VLOG_001

3. Select EXPORT SERAIL CODE and then press MENU/SET

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Step C – Acquire the Activation Code

1. Insert the SD card into your computer’s card reader. The computer must be online.

2. On your browser, paste the provided URL.

3. Click on DMW-SUF1/AG-SFU41

Then:

Follow this path to select the .LST file and click upload

Panasonic-GH4-to-firmware-version-2.3-StepC3

Then:

Then:

Panasonic GH4 to firmware version 2.3 StepC5

Step D – Import the Activation Code

 

1. Select the menu

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2. Select “IMPORT Serial Code” and press MENU/SET

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3. Turn the camera OFF and ON again. Switch to Motion Picture Mode, go to Photo Style, and Select V-Log L.

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Something VERY important: While using the V-Log L profile the new base ISO is 400, not 200, so make sure to bring some ND filters along of you are shooting daytime exteriors.

The Panasonic GH4 V-LOG update can be purchased for $99 here by mid-September.

Happy Shooting!

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Video

Hands-on Review: Varavon’s Armor II Cages.

There are (too) many video accessories and gadgets, so it’s becoming increasingly hard to determine where to spend our hard earned money, and what will truly make a significant impact on our video productions.

For the past few months we’ve been testing a number of new cameras and accessories. Today I’d like to highlight a company with two accessories in particular: Varavon’s Armor II Cage for the Panasonic GH4 and Varavon’s Armor for the Atomos Shogun.

You might have read my recent article titled “The eternal quest for ‘the best’ digital camera” where I posed the seemingly unanswerable question “what’s the best cinema camera (for us) right now?” Here’s the article, in case you missed it.

The article’s conclusions were somewhat vague, simply because even with all the readers’ feedback we received via Twitter (@EA_Photo), we couldn’t come up with a hard and fast answer. Most of our assignments require capturing video, stills, and sound on location, usually run and gun style, with a fast and small crew traveling as light as possible. This might or might not match your production needs, so it’s important to keep in mind that we are coming from that angle.

It is important to clarify that I am NOT being paid by anyone to write these reviews. I just want to share with others what’s working and what isn’t working for us, and hopefully save you some time. God knows I could use a few extra hours every day.

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Varavon’s Armor II Cage for the Panasonic GH4

Varavon-Shogun-Edit_700

Varavon’s Armor for the Atomos Shogun

 

Armor II Cage – My Impressions

Varavon reminds me of the early days of Edelkrone; small, humble, and fast. Both companies share a serious commitment to true innovation through useful, high-quality products.

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Edelkrone Follow Focus

Small details matter. A lot. For example, the Armor II Cage includes a magnetic Allen key, cleverly “hidden” on the top handle’s side. It’s one of those things that makes you wonder why no one else has thought of this before! Every product that requires an Allen key (from sliders to tripods to stabilizers, all should come up with a similar solution.

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Varavon  has clearly spent some serious time thinking and testing this product. With the GH4 camera mounted on the cage, one can still replace the battery and the memory card. The cage also works perfectly with a Metabones Speedbooster allowing us to use our preexisting Canon and Sigma lenses.

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Personally, if you only need ONE reason to get this cage, it’s the top handle, as the GH4 (or 5D Mark II or a7S II) body instantly shapes into a cinema camera. In addition to the obvious ergonomical advantages (especially when doing low-angle shots or quickly mounting/removing the camera to/from a tripod) the cage provides several mounting points, a cold shoe mount and one 15 mm rod clamp, allowing us more options to attach a wide variety of accessories like focus rings, microphones, electronic viewfinders, external monitors, etc.

Around the cage there are something like 40 ¼ threaded mounting points, but in real life one can use about five or six without getting in the way of standard camera operations. The previous version of this cage (which I also own) didn’t have a “front and back rod adapter” which can be used as an additional contact point or to mount additional accessories like a follow focus.

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Apparently there’s a version of the Armor II Cage with an ENG-style rotating handgrip, but mine doesn’t move. The handgrip (with beautiful leather) is fixed, yet very comfortable on most shooting situations.

If you buy the camera rig, I’d recommend adding a few 1/4″ Male to 1/4″ Male Threaded Screw adapters so you can easily attach accessories like an audio recorder or a small LED light (which, by the way, work GREAT to add some catchlight to your subjects when shooting exteriors on cloudy days). It would be even better if Varavon starts including a few of them in their kit (wink wink).

varavon rig - original approach-Edit

Armor for the Atomos Shogun – My Impressions

Now, let’s talk about the Armor for the Atomos Shogun. I wrote an extensive post about the Shogun, so I won’t go into a huge amount of detail here, but suffice it to say that the Shogun is a godsend.

Oregon Winery BTS.00_13_16_02.Still003

In a nutshell, the Shogun provides an exquisite 1920 x 1080 ultra sharp (and fairly accurate) image, with many additional features (like LUTS) to record HD or 4K in ProRes with clean sound already synced into fast and reliable Solid State Drives. The not so great part is that the Shogun is VERY fragile. We take great care of our gear, and our monitor cracked on our second or third assignment.

So for additional protection, the Armor Cage is great, but it seems designed for studio situations, when heavy duty camera support is readily available as the cage alone weights almost a pound.

For the most part, Varavon’s design does not interfere with the function of the Shogun, but the Armor Cage doesn’t accommodate the much needed sunhood (which should be included on the Shogun’s kit but it is not). Not being able to attach a much-needed accessory seems like an important oversight.

The selling point for this accessory is, in my humble opinion, the many additional mounting points, the clever sliding SSD Safety Latch, an audio clamp to protect the XLR cable, and (maybe) the HDMI cable locking screws.

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In our case, the optional L brackets (purchased separately) have not added significant versatility, so I probably would recommend skipping them.

Conclusion

The build quality on all Varavon products is outstanding. I like the Shogun Cage and if we are shooting for an extended period of time indoors I’d bring it along.

I love the Armor II Camera Cage for the GH4. It has changed the game for us, and as long I use the GH4 I’ll keep enjoying the added versatility and improved form factor the cage offers. I can definitely recommend this accessory for anyone who needs more versatility but is hesitant to add unnecessary weight to his/her camera package. To see the complete list of gear we bring on location, click HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about which accessories are important, why and how to use them, consider watching these courses on Lynda.com

Did I miss anything? Feel free to continue the conversation here.

Video

Metabones Speed Booster Firmware update.

Metabones released a new firmware update (v1.6) for the Smart Adapters and Speed Boosters Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds.

The update fixes or improves the following:

1– Iris click noise issue while zooming a variable aperture zoom lens. Fixed OM-D E-M1 depth-of-field preview button inoperative issue.
2– The connection reliability if lens is attached to adapter after camera is powered on.
3– An intermittent pincushion distortion issue on Panasonic bodies.
4– IBIS on OM-D series of Olympus cameras.
5– Lens hot swapping with passive MFT mount of BMCC.

We have constantly experienced issue #3 and sporadically #2 so this is a welcome update.

For some odd reason Metabones makes it extremely hard to find the link with the firmware update, so here’s the direct link for your convenience and some screen grabs of the process on a Mac.

Step 01 - Metabones App v1.6Step 02 - Metabones App v1.6-5Step 03 - Metabones App v1.6Step 04 - Metabones App v1.6-2

The update takes a couple of minutes.

 

Video

Hybrid Assignments Equipment List: The Essential 41 Items

In aviation, an MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List) is a categorized list of on-board systems, instruments and equipment that must be operative in order to flight. Any additional equipment not included in the MMEL may break temporarily but it won’t make the aircraft inoperative. Here’s an attempt to create a hybrid MMEL for three different crew sizes.

Let’s start with the definition of “Hybrid.” What I normally mean by this term are productions or assignments where one or two people are required to be the photographer, filmmaker, sound recordist, producer, and even editor. And, these gigs are becoming increasingly popular. It sounds crazy and these sorts of shoots can be. One of the keys to making them run smoothly relies on great planning and working with less equipment that gives you more control in less time. It also helps to team up with other people who can complement our weaknesses.

Short and one-man crew hybrid projects

One substantial challenge for photographers shooting video is how to travel as light as possible while carrying a full production and post-production setup that is literally on their back. Here’s a picture of my backpack, which contains every single piece of gear that I’d need for from one up to three days, except some clothes and toiletries that will go on a small backpack.

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Bag for a 1-day or 2-day gig by myself.

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1. Media Credentials which sometimes, but not always, can give you special access, get you discounts and the most important part, allow you to travel with some heavy or oversized gear without paying a fortune. Here’s a link to Delta, American, and United Media Baggage policies.

2. Two external portable hard drives. I suggest this one, or this one.

3. Audio field recorder like the H4n (or a more current model and smaller version like Tascam’s DR-05) to capture interviews and my own production notes.

4. Camera A for video, in this case a Panasonic GH4 (Amazon and B&H) with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H). I’m in love with this lens. So small, yet so sharp!

5. Camera B for video, another Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H)

7. Camera for stills and location scouting; I always carry my Fuji X100s (Amazon and B&H)

8. A variety of Tenba Tool Boxes (Amazon and B&H) to pack all the batteries, chargers, cables, adapters and other small accessories.

9. A small tripod (Amazon and B&H)that sometimes serves as an improvised handheld rig. A car mount works great for time lapse and even to hold the H4n or small lights during interviews.

10. At least one Rode VideoMic (Amazon and B&H) to capture some ambient sounds or  interviews.

11. A 15″ MacBook Pro (Amazon and B&H) with Adobe Creative Suite (Amazon and B&H) and Shot Put Pro.

12. One of my favorite photo bags ever, the new Tenba Shootout (Amazon and B&H)

13. In terms of lighting, for these assignments I try to use mostly available/natural light, but I bring a 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector.

And here’s my typical outfit and setup for some of these solo hybrid gigs.

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My outfit for hybrid shoots.

1. My good ol’ Columbia jacket/vest has been traveling with me to more than 40 countries. It has lots of pockets, a hoodie, and because it has a self-stowing pocket, it sometimes doubles as a pillow on the road. A priceless item, to be sure.

2. Benro S4 Video Monopod. Small, relatively light, and sturdy. Works great.

3. Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens.

4. Rode VideoMic Shotgun

5. I always bring gloves unless I’m going to the Caribbean in July. Montreal was pretty cold and wet!

6. Obviously, the most important tool if you are crossing any borders: the passport. This website compares the “power” of passports from many different countries, and, as Americans, we are blessed to have the most powerful one.

7. I like to dress in layers and in dark colors when shooting on the road. Black hides dust and stains very easily. A cashmere sweater is worth its weight in gold.

8. Camera for stills: The Fuji X100s is especially handy after a very long day, when I don’t want to carry more gear but still want to capture a few night scenes of nice-looking dishes during my evening meal.

9. A hat—another essential item.

Longer projects and bigger crews

For a longer hybrid assignment where I’ll have one or two more people (gaffer/grip and a second camera/DIT) I’d bring a few more items. In this case we wouldn’t  need to carry everything on our backs, but we definitely need to pack as little and light as possible.

We would bring a Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case, to pack one or two Benro S8 tripods, a Benro S4 monopod, a very compact and portable slider that would take the same fluid head from the S8 tripod and/or the S4 monopod. Some grip accessories that I consider essential are at least a couple of adjustable Gaffer Clamps, and a couple Collapsible Reflector Holders which also double as boom stand. These two light and inexpensive items effectively function as one, and sometimes two, additional crew member. A no brainer if you ask me.

On the camera package I’d include an external monitor/recorder like the Atomos Shogun with plenty of Solid State Drives (you can also rent them for only $28 per day!), and all the charges and cables you can imagine, and a power strip (get one with a long cord) that becomes essential when downloading all the footage every night AND charging all the batteries for the next day. I use one Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag for the most expensive, essential and fragile items, namely cameras, lenses, Shogun and hard drives. The brilliant design of the Roadie Hybrid allowa me to treat is as a standard rolling carry-on, but I can also use it as a (very heavy) backpack on uneven terrain, subway stations, etc.

Here’s a view of my carry-on bag.

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My carry-on bag for longer jobs and/or when I have a bigger crew.

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1. Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag

2. Media pouch with ten 64GB SD cards

3 and 4. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and Sigma 24-105mm f4. These are the same lenses I used last year on another one-man Hybrid project in Istanbul and Europe

5. SanDisk Solid State Drives for the Atomos Shogun

6. Two external portable hard drives

7. Sekonic Color Meter

8. Sekonic Light Meter

9. Rode VideoMic

10. H4n Audio field recorder.

11 and 12. A couple of Panasonic GH4 bodies with Varavon cages, one with a Metabones Speedbooster (for the Sigma and Canon lenses) or a couple of Canon C100 Mark II or C300 Mark II bodies if the job doesn’t require stills.

13. USB 3 reader for Solid State Drives (included with the Atomos Shogun kit)

14. 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (compact, super fast and awesome)

15. Atomos Shogun

16. My sharpest and heaviest lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 [

17. Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens and Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens. These lenses are the equivalent to a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8 but super light and small

18. In terms of lighting I usually bring two or three 1×1 Bi-Color LED Panels with batteries and two Chimera 1×1 Lightbanks with grids. That pretty much covers all me needs. Another option is a Fiilex kit, which I like a lot, but find it way too expensive. I’ll need light stands and cables.

19. Depending on the job we would add another camera movement tool, like a Glidecam or a Ronin or even jibs and dollies. It depends on too many different factors.

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All the bags packed. The LED lights are in the back seat.

Well, there you have my little setups for hybrid assignments. Obviously, there isn’t a perfect setup of gear list, just like there isn’t a perfect camera, but these items have been working great for us.  I hope this article benefits some of you involved or interested in run and gun, single-operator scenarios like weddings, events, corporate shoots, documentaries, red carpet premieres, product launches, sporting events, video podcasts, and even student films.

If you are interested in some packing and traveling tips, especially when shooting overseas, or what to do the day before your video/shoot shoot, we have written about that too. Did I forget anything? Let me know here!

And of course, there are those crazy long, crazy hectic, crazy complex and crazy awesome projects that require everything and the kitchen sink.

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Video

Panasonic GH4 Firmware Update.

Panasonic has released a new firmware update for the GH4. The new update version 2.2  adds the following features:

  1. Anamorphic (4:3) Mode is available which optimizes the settings for 3328×2496 video recording with a 4:3 anamorphic lens.
    To convert the footage to a cinemascope aspect for playback, corresponding software and device are required.
  2. 1/16000 sec shutter speed can be selected manually when using Electronic Shutter.
  3. Fixed the issue which video recorded in rec format AVCHD got misdated when imported to some editing software.

Here’s a video shot with the 2.2 (beta) version which unlike the public version also included V-Log L.

Panasonic 4K Anamorphic and V-Log L – Official Video from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

A short film by Eduardo Angel, Davis Northern and Sean Davis. Shot with Panasonic LUMIX GH4 firmware 2.2 in anamorphic format. The film starts out ungraded as shot in a new V-Log L gamma file color space, which is being evaluated for market release in 2015, then transitions to fully graded scenes. Learn more about our experience shooting this project here: http://bit.ly/1DddoB6

The previous version 2.1 – offered the following changes and fixes:

• Time code can be embedded to the HDMI output signal.

Selectable in Motion Picture menu : [Time Code] -> [HDMI Time Code Output]

This function is now available when DMC-GH4 or DMW-YAGH are connected with Atomos products.

• RSS (Recording Start/Stop) signal can be embedded to the HDMI output signal.

Selectable in Motion Picture menu : [HDMI Rec Output] -> [HDMI Recording Control]
This function is now available when DMC-GH4 or DMW-YAGH are connected with the Atomos products.

• FHD at 30p/25p native output via HDMI is available while recording video in FHD at 30p/25p.

Selectable in Motion Picture menu: [HDMI Rec Output] ->[1080/30p Set.] or [1080/25p Set.]

• Playback performance of recorded 4K video is improved.

We’ll need to test this feature and see what the improvements are. Stay tuned!

• Time Lapse Shot Program is fixed to start recording at the designated time even when [summer time] is set.

A very welcomed fix. We ran into this issue a few months ago.

Lens Firmware Update

The super tiny and awesome 35-100mm lens has also received an update! Version 1.2 of the lens firmware brings improved Optical Image Stabilization in Motion Picture recording (when using DMC-GH3/GH4) and improved AF speed with GH3 (240fps control).

Previous Body Firmware Updates

The previous firmware version 2.0 introduced 4K Photo Mode, which automatically set shooting parameters optimized for stills and allows 4K capture in a variety of aspect ratios. There was also a Rec Loop mode that constantly shoots and deletes footage from the card – retaining only the last five two-minute clips. The firmware also brought a 23.98p 4K shooting in MP4/AAC mode. Other changes included adjustable flash output and greater control over ISO.

How to update your GH4’s Firmware:

1. Check the current version of firmware of your camera and lens – Mount a lens onto the camera body. – Set the camera’s power switch to ON. – Press the MENU/SET button. – Go to the SETUP menu and select the “Version DISP.” If you already have 1.1, there’s nothing else to do. If you have a previous version, please continue:

2. Download the file for update (here’s the direct link)

3. Extract the file

4. Copy the firmware update program extracted into an SD memory card.

5. Make sure the battery is  full.

6. Turn off the power switch.

7. Insert the fully charged battery to the body.

8. Insert the SD Memory Card with the firmware file.

9. Turn on the power switch.

10. Here’s the key step:  Press the Play button to enter the Play mode. After the message of “PLEASE WAIT …” is displayed, the “Version Up Body” should appear. Press the Up button to select YES. The update process will start. The green bar increases the level by the process. The firmware update will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Once the firmware update process is completed, the camera body will turn off the power and turn on again then it will be initial mode automatically.

Firmware-update01 Firmware-update02

11. Go shoot something awesome. Important: While updating the firmware on ANY camera do NOT attempt the following operations before completion:

Turning the power off and on

Pressing any buttons

Opening the SD memory card compartment

Removing the SD memory card

Removing the lens

Removing the AC adaptor cord

Removing the DC cable

Related Posts

7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4. 4K video under $2K. Meet the Panasonic Lumix GH4.

I Just Got a Pana­sonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Dri­ves.

I Just Got a Pana­sonic GH4 – Now What? Bat­ter­ies.

I Just Got a Pana­sonic GH4 – Now What? Mem­ory Cards.

Discussing the Panasonic GH4 Live!

Dance Behind the Scenes • Panasonic GH4 4K and SlowMo with Cine-D Profile. from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

Video

DP Review issues Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Final Review.

DP Review releases final conclusions on the Panasonic GH4. I agree 100% with them.

  • The DMC-GH4 sets a new bar in terms of the video capability available in a camera that a significant number of people can afford.
  • In a professional setting the GH4 is unusual in being compatible with an interface unit (the DMW-YAGH aka “The Brick”) that adds industry-standard 3G-SDI and XLR connectors.
  • The GH4’s image quality is very solid, producing nice JPEG images and usefully flexible Raw files. The color and tonality of its images seem improved over previous generations of camera. In video mode the camera is equally solid.
  • Despite the increased competition, the GH4 remains the king of accessible stills/movie hybrids.
  • A remarkably capable all-in-one package that lets you capture good quality footage and excellent stills from a sensibly-sized standalone camera.
  • The GH4’s video quality and well implemented touchscreen control system give it the edge over less expensive cameras, such as the a6000, while its price and ability to capture 4K internally will give it broader appeal than the Sony a7S.
  • What makes the GH4 so strong is its balance of capability, size and price. Its ability to slot into a professional setup, via the optional interface unit can only help expand this appeal.
  • Low light performance is solid if not exceptional – so you’ll need to think about lighting and bright lenses for low light shooting – but in many situations the GH4 produces good footage with a little subject/background distinction.
  • If you’re only interested in stills then it’s not quite such a compelling proposition – the competition is fierce at this price point. However, if you have any inclination towards moving images, there’s not a camera that offers nearly as much capability and support as the GH4 does, for anywhere near the price.

The complete review is available here.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out these additional links:

And here are some samples clips:

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Disclaimer:

I’m extremely proud of the 100% free content we provide and I hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and constructive criticisms – I appreciate each and every one of them.

I only promote products, services, and companies that I use and trust, and that in my opinion deliver great value to our industry. If you are purchasing something, please consider using my affiliate links to help support this site. Thank you in advance.

 

 

 

Video

The Future of Digital Photography is written. Now.

When you get a Panasonic GH4 and open the box, among the typical accessories, manual, camera strap, etc you find this little pamphlet. Most people, I’m sure, won’t even notice it. But I don’t think I have ever seen the future of photography so clearly written, literally.

Panasonic-GH4K-to-Stills

Shoot 4K video with a tiny, $1,700 camera. Press a couple of buttons. Done.

New companies are offering interactive and personalized video ads using geotargeting and service-provider data to display relevant prices, promotions, and specific product information. Traditional companies are also keeping up. The New York Times recently recruited almost 20 new staff members to work on new news formats including video and interactive media.

Once software developers catch up, this is exactly how we will shoot stills. Pulling frames, in two steps or less. Not one at a time. This is both scary and fascinating depending where you sit.

Video

Discussing the Panasonic Lumix GH4 LIVE!

Wow! That was quick. I was invited earlier today to join Mathew Frazer, a senior field trainer and product developer with Panasonic USA (with over 20 years experience in the industry) and David Flores a NY photographer and filmmaker who shoots for clients like General Electric, Willett Distillery, the Audubon Society, Sawyer House Press, Adelphi University, Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace, Northwestern University Press, and many more.

We discussed the pros and cons of the Panasonic GH4, the best memory cards, batteries, what 4K means for filmmakers and photographers and answered a TON of questions sent to us via Twitter.

The event took place at B&H and you can watch the complete recap of our session right right here:

UPDATE 20140530: Since MANY of you have been asking about the gear we used, here’s the list:
Panasonic GH4
Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8
Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
Syrp Genie
Cinevate Pegasus
Benro S8 Tripod
Benro S6 Monopod
Comodo Orbit
Rode Videomic

A couple of 4K + Slow Motion samples that were not covered during the live session:

Dance from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

Dance Behind the Scenes from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

And here are the sample/test clips I showed during the live discussion (make sure you watch them at the highest resolution):



A lot of the topics we discussed are included on our upcoming eBook “Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers.” Get your free copy while you can. More questions? Send us a Tweet!

Video

Panasonic Lumix DMC GH4 Sample Video • Behind the Scenes Fashion Week New York.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GH4 Sample Video. Behind the Scenes shot during Fashion Week in New York. Another test was shot in Central Park and a third one at the Chelsea Piers.
We learned a lot of interesting things about this new camera. To see the specs and what this system represents to hybrid photographers check tis article.

Video

7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4.

The invitation from Panasonic USA to perform a field test arrived quite suddenly, with multiple commitments for Fashion Week already in place, and with nasty weather that didn’t really allow access to tried and true locations. Great!

It is very important to mention that the camera we tested was a preproduction model running firmware v0.3. As it is always the case with preproduction models, as well as some early production models, many features were disabled or not working as expected. We also wanted to test if our current workflow, which we generally use with Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera and Canon products—ranging from the 60D to the 5D Mark III to the C300 and even some 1DCs—would work at the same or needed adaptations for the GH4.

1. Comparisons
Instead of a side-by-side comparison between the GH4 and other brands, Sean Davis and I were more interested in exploring the new features of the GH4, compared to the GH3 and a hacked version of the GH2 that we have used in the past. Obviously, shooting 4K was at the top of the list.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4 field test central park_001www.eduardoangel.com Cinevate_01

2. Look and Feel
The GH4 is the exact same size as the GH3. Not only that, unlike other camera manufacturers that feel inspired to sell new batteries and chargers with every new camera, we were pleased to see that the GH4 shares the same exact DMW-BLF19 battery (here’s a much better deal). In other words, all your GH3 “power rigging accessories” will continue to work. Great news for Panasonic users and rental houses. An important difference (and a small hiccup in our field test) is that the GH4 uses Micro HDMI, and not the GH3’s Mini HDMI.

Before you ask, the answer is no. We did not have the Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit (aka The Brick) with us.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4 field test grand central _001

3. The 4K Footage
As you can see from the image below, the GH4’s 100 Mbps is broadcast 4K or Quad HD (3840 x 2160), not DCI compliant 4K cinema spec (4096×2160), but the camera is capable of recording DCI compliant 4K at 200Mbps. This article explains what DCI is.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4-4K-File-Size_web

Just for fun, I created this side-by-side file size comparison between the cameras I use most often.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4 File-Sizes-compared_web

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

4. Storage
Regarding memory cards, we were ALSO testing a pre-production version of a SanDisk. The GH4 didn’t like the SanDisk 95mbs SDXC that we always use with our Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera. To spice things up a bit more, we had to use a beta SDHC II 280mbs 32GB card provided by SanDisk. I hope that once the camera ships, it will take “standard” SD cards, but they won’t come cheap.

Shooting 4K @100mb/s 30p on a 64GB card will give you about 29 minutes of shooting time. So we are looking at three to four cards per shoot at $150 each. All things considered, I’d get Panasonic 64 GB microP2 cards. If you have a better suggestion please send me a tweet.
This extra budget consideration of $450-$600 doesn’t even include hard drives for storage and backups. Definitively a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt drive is the way to go.

5. High ISO
Per multiple requests via Twitter, we shot the same exact cityscape in Central Park with the GH3 and the GH4.

The exposure settings were identical:
• Manual Exposure
• The beautiful Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 Lens
• f/2.8
• 1/30th
• 1600 ISO
• WB at 5500K


Lumix12-35mm lens

The only difference was that the GH3 was recording at its highest video resolution 1920×1080 at 72mb/s ALL-I 24fps while the GH4 was recording at 4K at 100mb/s IPB 30fps. Note: This was the ONLY video setting working on our prerelease GH4. Other settings were available but the camera was not able to record.

Here are some tests:



6. Workflow
The workflow we tested was intentionally kept as plain and simple as possible. The idea was to mimic a “normal” setup for an “average” shooter.

1. Download the SD card directly to a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt External Drive connected to a 27-inch mid-2011 iMac.

www.eduardoangel.com About This Macwww.eduardoangel.com GH4 4K footage on iMac 2011_001

2. Open the MOV directly into Adobe Premiere Pro CC v7.2.1 without transcoding to ProRes or doing anything special to the files. This is exactly why I switched from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro a few years ago. Another feature I love on Premiere is the ability to change the playback resolution. In a few words, with high-resolution footage, you can set playback resolution to a lower value.

www.eduardoangel.com-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-Settings-for-4K_web

3. Start editing

7. Other Observations:
• The GH4 comes with two options for focusing magnification: Full frame and PIP which I find much more applicable for video. Even though PIP was not working while shooting video on our pre-production model, I’m sure it will be there when the camera ships.
• The peaking feature was working perfectly. A wonderful addition to our tips and tricks arsenal.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4 Peaking_001
• The camera didn’t have, and won’t have, built-in ND filters. I was really hoping this would be an improvement over the GH3, but we will need to keep using our variable ND filters.
• There’s a lot to like about this system and I am confident Panasonic will add enough improvements to the firmware to make your shooting experience even better.

www.eduardoangel.com GH4 field test grand central2 _001www.eduardoangel.com GH4 field test tenba_001www.eduardoangel.com Rode Mic

 

Related Posts

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Drives.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Batteries.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.

 

Video

4K video under $2K. Meet the Panasonic Lumix GH4.

Panasonic just announced its latest system, the Lumix GH4. We had the honor to field test the GH4 this past weekend, and I shared some of my impressions live on Twitter.
I’ll be posting more details as well as images and sample videos later this week.

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